Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Wedding Hat

If you were here yesterday for the fashion show, you know that I've spent a lot of time lately playing the role of mother of the groom.  And buying pretty dresses.

One problem for me when picking out an outfit to wear for this role is that it has to look okay with a hat.  Not just any hat, but a vintage black felt hat that I bought for $10 back in 2009 at an antiques/secondhand store, embellished with a wide gross grain ribbon bow and the remnants of a face veil that had long since disintegrated.

Let me backtrack a little here, and tell you that I normally wear a chapel veil or lace mantilla when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, a practice I started not too long before the wedding of my oldest son in December of 2009.  But I didn't feel comfortable wearing a veil for his wedding Mass--I thought that privilege belonged to the bride alone--so I decided I would wear a hat of some sort.  But I didn't want anything too big or wide-brimmed or attention-grabbing.  (I didn't want the kind of crazy millinery that was on display at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, for example.)

Um, nope!  No, thank you.

Are you kidding me?

Some could pull this off...not I.

This is actually quite pretty...but still, too much for me.

I wanted something small and unobtrusive, something that wouldn't leave me with irreparable "hat head" when I removed it for the reception.  I wanted something just like my little black felt hat, the one I just told you about.  I figured black goes with everything, so I paired my petit chapeau with black shoes, and I think it worked.
You almost wouldn't notice I was wearing a hat at all, would you?

Well, I've made that sweet vintage hat work three times already.  I wore it with royal blue for the wedding of son #1, and with the teal and purple dresses I showed you yesterday, the ones I wore for the weddings of sons #3 and #4; and I plan to wear it yet again with the silvery gray dress I'm wearing for son #2's upcoming November wedding.  I guess you could say it's becoming sort of a "trademark" for me.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.  (If you asked my incorrigible older brother, he'd say NOT.  He loves to tease torture me about my "beanie.")

Back at the time of my first go-around as a mother of the groom, I didn't know where to look for an appropriate ensemble (what a newbie I was!).  So I sat down at my laptop and Googled "mother of the groom dresses with jackets."  The Internets took me to a number of sites, including AmeriMark, where I found the above outfit on sale for $ a catalog filled with old lady gear such as orthopedic shoes, support hose, and housedresses.  When it arrived in the mail, I didn't care where it had come from--I loved it!  The jacket has these lovely satin ribbon scrolls (which are hidden by my hair, unfortunately), and the sleeves are sheer--although you can't tell that in the picture--and buttoned at the cuff (much like the sleeves of my own wedding dress).  And royal blue is just about my favorite color.  I decided to add a ribbon closure at the waist, because the jacket was a little too big.  Overall, I was pleased with and comfortable in this outfit.

(Have you clicked on the AmeriMark link yet?  It just goes to show that you never know what you're going to find on the World Wide Web, and where you're going to find it--there are all sorts of treasures waiting to be discovered out there, sometimes in the most unlikely of places!)

Okay, have I covered mother of the groom fashion thoroughly enough yet?  Are you really, really hoping son #5 doesn't get married for a few years, so you don't have to listen to me yammer on about what I'm going to wear to HIS wedding?

If you're still with me here, hats off to you!


  1. Lovely dress! You look very classy. :-) I couldn't tell the sleeves were sheer! I had to go back to the picture and really look at it! And I just love hats! I secretly love all the ones you posted. Lol. Also, I admire the fact you wear a mantilla. I wish our church here and in Mexico did that. Or that ladies (including me) were brave enough to wear one. ;-)

    1. Gabriela, it took me a long time to work up the nerve. And I mostly don't think of it anymore. But a few years ago, we ran into my husband's junior high girlfriend, who'd moved away after our freshman year in high school, right before we started dating; we were at the Basilica at Notre Dame, and I had my veil on, and it made me feel so if I was meeting this old flame of my husband's when I wasn't at my best. When I told him afterward that I wished we'd run into her outside the church, so I would be "normal"-looking without my veil, he told me he was proud of me when I wore it. So even though it's mostly become second nature to wear a veil, I must admit that I wish ALL Catholic women still wore them in church! :)

  2. I love your black hat and the sleeves and added ribbon to your blue dress! Your posts are always entertaining! I enjoy reading about your style secrets and finds!

  3. Thank you for not wearing hat number one or hat number three (I just can't picture you with a carnation head, and I'll confess to an actual outburst of giggling over that one). Just.... thank you. :)

    That royal blue dress/suit was stunning!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! It was inexpensive and came from an unlikely source; but I felt good in that suit. I love the color royal blue.